Monday, October 14, 2019

The Heart Locker Photo Essay October 13, 2019

Eva Montville, Suzanne Ross, Marya Fields
& Cholla Needles - Art, Poetry & Music
Art Tours Stop #105 October 13, 2019
















The Heart Locker Photo Essay October 12, 2019

Eva Montville, Suzanne Ross, Marya Fields
& Cholla Needles - Art, Poetry & Music
Art Tours Stop #105 October 12, 2019



























Saturday, October 12, 2019

Four Open Poetry Readings October 12-20 at Art Tours #105 in Joshua Tree


The Poetry Readings are free! Bring your work to share!
October 12, 13, 19 & 20! Times listed on poster above.
The Art Tour stop is 105, The Heart Locker by Eva Montville
8427 Rock Haven Road, Joshua Tree

Other artists showing their work at Studio 105 this month are
Suzanne Ross, and Marya Fields. 
Note art is displayed from 9-5 each day.

Poetry & Art! 
Life does not get any better than this. 

Directions: South on Park Blvd (becomes Quail Springs) for 4.9 miles 
Left on Rock Haven Rd .5 miles. (Keep veering right).
Studio on right side. 
Look for parking signs - do not park on road. 

If the traffic to the park is backed when you come, an alternative direction: 
From Park Blvd (Quail Springs), turn left on Desert Shadows
then turn right on Single Tree, 
and finally turn left on Rock Haven to 8427 Rockhaven.

Note - all roads off Park Blvd are unpaved. If raining, do not come =:-)

Each reading time will have different hosts. 
The excellent writers who will love to hear your poetry are:

Rose Baldwin
L. I. Henley
Jonathan Maule
Lisa Mednick Powell
Ellen Baird
Cynthia Anderson
Cindy Rinne
Earnest Alois 
Bonnie Brady
Peter Jastermsky
Ruth Nolan

And - don't forget our regular Cholla Needles reading 
at Space Cowboy on October 20 from 3-5 PM!!!
Good Times!!!

A special Thank You to Bobby Norman for nudging us to post this ASAP!




Open Reading: October 20, 3-5 at Space Cowboy in Joshua Tree!


The open reading will be held on the stage behind the store. Bring something of your own to read or a passage that inspires you. Prose is limited to two minutes. You're also welcome to simply come and listen to your neighbors. We invite the entire community to come in, share, and simply have a good time! All ages invited, and every event is free! See you there =:-) 

John Brantingham's work has appeared in hundreds of magazines in the United States and England, and his poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac. His other books include "Mann of War" and "East of Los Angeles." He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where he lives with his wife, Ann. He is currently the poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Come and be inspired! 

John Brantingham


Friday, October 11, 2019

Tobi Alfier - I Did It!!! Plus More!!!

Even though I don’t live in the desert, I always check the Cholla Needles website to see what’s been going on. I can’t believe how busy September was, and October’s going to be.

Four Open Poetry readings in October to coincide with Art Tours in Joshua Tree. That, plus the regular 3rd Sunday Open Reading at Space Cowboy from 3-5! I used to love art tours, even without the poetry. How wonderful to have both.

(Note: Last month, as a way to welcome new participants to the Big Read events, Rich ordered 50 copies of My Words: Journal, Diary, Writing Notebook. He’s already given out 42 copies. If you look at the photos for the readings, you’ll see a woman reading a poem from her notebook).

Also on the website: Brian Beatty’s been introducing us to a great poet each week, and poetry he’s written as a result of their influence. Last week he wrote about Thomas Merton and this week Galway Kinnell. There’s an author page for the wonderful Cynthia Anderson, with reviews and info about her books, a bio, and poems you can read and hear online. I swear, if not for Cynthia and her giant red blanket, I’d still be frozen at Space Cowboy Books from last January! Rich was wearing shorts; I should have been dressed for Norway.

There’s information on artist Zara Kand and the Yucca Valley Arts Center, Rich’s beautiful cornucopia of his books, and…PODCASTS.

There’s always something new on the Cholla Needles website. And then you have me.

Back in July I introduced you to Susan Tepper and her dog Otis. That post was about what a good literary citizen she is, and how even though she’s marketing her own book, and getting ready for a book tour, she still takes plenty of time to do kind things for other writers.

I promised Susan ages ago that I would get her new book What Drives Men, and I’d put a review on Amazon.  That is all still true, but something happened this past week which jumped out at me before I had a chance to finish the book and do my review.

I don’t know whether it’s the characters, the dialog, the short chapters which are all titled (a way of writing that I love), the names of everyone…I don’t know, but I HAD to put Susan’s book down and write!! That rarely happens to me. If I’m writing, I’m writing. If I’m reading, I’m reading. But something about “What Drives Men” compelled me to put it down, and write a 465-word piece of flash fiction. That may have already been accepted (I had it read by a trusted reader, I still respected it in the morning, and I submitted it. Done and dusted).

I am 90% a poet.  The rest of the time I co-edit and co-publish San Pedro River Review, and I write a teeny bit of short fiction. Last week I said I can’t say I write flash fiction, because that’s generally 500 words or less, and I can’t write that short. But holy heck! The piece Susan’s book compelled me to write was 465 words! That means I can write in another genre. And it was a blast. I loved every minute of it, and I have no idea how it happened.

My point to you is that no matter what you’re reading, when the urge to write strikes, don’t wait. You don’t know what’s going to come out, but do it. Then go back to what you were reading. I’m about halfway through “What Drives Men”. I’m loving every second of it, and I’m enormously thankful for the flash fiction piece I wrote because of it.

So in addition to being a good literary citizen, Susan Tepper needs to add “inspirer of writing” to the list of what makes her wonderful.

This is a short post today. There’s lot’s going on in the desert, and I want to finish this book. So keep your radar tuned, enjoy what you read, enjoy what you write, and absolutely add “What Drives Men” to your list.

Bring your poetry to the art tour and share in the open mic. The readings are free, there are a lot of different hosts, you’ll get to meet new people, and hear new writers. Please wear sunblock.

And finally, as the wonderful Ellen Gilchrist has said:

A piece of writing is the product
of a series of explosions
in the mind.
Ellen Gilchrist

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Tobi Alfier's most recent collection of poetry is Slices Of Alice. She is also co-editor with Jeff Alfier of the San Pedro River Review. Don't miss Tobi's columns on the craft of poetry: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.


Brian Beatty On Galway Kinnell

Borrowed Trouble: Micro Tribute to Galway Kinnell (1915-1968)

I wouldn’t write at all if it weren’t for myriad writers before me whose works showed me what was possible. The poems of this series are small offerings of respect, of thanks, to those muses. – Brian Beatty

Galway Kinnell

Forgive me 
as well as yourself.
It wasn’t us.

It was the weather.
Or the room. 
Maybe it was both. Maybe

The truths 
we kept from each other 
like secrets were 

too painfully true 
to be certain.

– Brian Beatty


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Learn more about Galway Kinnell:







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NEW! Read the entire series of Borrowed Trouble by Brian Beatty anywhere you go by buying the collection of all sixty poems today! You've enjoyed these poetic tributes on-line, now enjoy them everywhere!


Brian's recent collections of poetry are Dust and Stars: Miniatures and Brazil, Indiana


Don't miss Brian's columns on great poets: insert your email address in the "Follow By Email" box to the right of this article and you'll be notified every time a new article appears.